Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. –Genesis 1:3
Dear members and friends,
Most people prefer light over darkness. As a matter of fact, most children (and a good number of adults) are afraid of the dark. Being in the dark is not simply about not seeing, but often about the uncertainty of what is happening and what is coming. Thus, darkness causes a deep degree of fear in our minds. That is why darkness is always associated with fear, evil, or bad omens throughout human history.
I heard some people arguing that darkness is the original condition of the universe, referring to the creation story in Genesis 1. The truth is that in Genesis 1:2, darkness is mentioned in the context that “darkness covered the face of the deep.” “The deep” here is most likely the same as the waters that covered the earth. In other words, the earth that was without form was covered by waters, which was deep and dark. According to Genesis, the earth is only the only place where darkness prevailed in the beginning until God said, in verse 3, “Let there be light.” “There” does not refer to the universe or uncertain space, but the earth that was covered by darkness. This truth becomes much clearer as we read the rest of the creation story in Genesis 1, because the creation story is clearly about the formation of life on earth.
According to Swedenborg, the earth symbolizes our mind. The earth that was without form as a void covered by waters and darkness describes our mind before the beginning of spiritual cultivation, which is regeneration. “Waters” symbolizes all knowledge we acquired before the regeneration. The waters were covered by darkness because before regeneration, all of our knowledge is judged and measured by materialistic and selfish priorities. However, the good news is that the spirit of God is hovering on the surface of the darkness that covered waters, waiting for the moment of our first spiritual acknowledgment. When we make this first gesture, God says to our mind, “Let there be light.” One beam of light, which is one spiritual truth, is enough to initiate the whole process of regeneration in our mind, because a light from God has one purpose only: to form a heaven in our mind, or to reform our mind to be a small heaven.
Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee